Mother-daughter bonding, knitting and a ripped-from-the-headlines plot from Delinsky (While My Sister Sleeps, 2009, etc.).
Three high-school seniors form a pact to become pregnant. Sound familiar? But Lily, Mary Kate and Jess are the top girls, academically, athletically and socially, in the Maine coastal village of Zaganack. Boasting old roots and rigid values, this company town for an upscale retailer is scandalized. Most of the scandal comes from the fact that Lily’s mother Susan is the high-school principal. The old men on the school board are outraged at the example the three girls have set, and all fingers are pointing in Susan’s direction. Not only is she a bit of a progressive—she’s established a medical clinic at the school and prefers counseling to punishment—Susan too was pregnant and unmarried at 17. When Lily was a baby, Susan bonded with fellow new mothers Kate (Mary Kate’s mom) and Sunny (tightly wound parent of Jess); the women have been best friends ever since, and all three are devastated by their daughter’s incomprehensible decision. At PC Wool, a division of the posh retailer that they created and run together, they spend Saturdays dyeing yarn and trying to figure out why their girls traded in bright futures for teenage motherhood. While Susan fights for her job, she revisits her painful past (her own parents shamed and disowned her) and begins to connect more deeply with Lily’s father Rick, a globetrotting journalist who may be ready to stay home. Problems arise with the health of Lily’s baby, the involvement of the babies’ fathers and the stability of PC Wools, but by novel’s end, everything is so neatly and happily resolved that readers may wonder what the fuss was about.
Delinsky has a knack for exploring the battlefields of contemporary life, and this emotionally intelligent, though formulaic, new novel offers her fans what they want—high drama and romantic realism.